The Democratic push to get people to vote by mail is making me a bit nervous. While ballots can be invalidated at any step, it seems easier for someone to disqualify your vote when it’s done absentee (signature challenges and so on). It seems I’m not alone in this either. The pandemic has led to a shortage of poll workers so many polling places will be closed. All that said, this is why I worry about much higher than usual absentee voting (boldface mine):
It is the late evening of Nov. 3, 2020—Election Day. The race is tight. It’s come down to the three states that President Donald Trump barely won in 2016: Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Most in-person votes have been counted, and Trump holds a small lead in each state. But there are millions of mail-in ballots that election officials have not yet processed. Hundreds of thousands of voters dropped their ballots in the mail days ago, but they haven’t been received. Meanwhile, thousands of ballots that were mailed in time have been rejected due to alleged technical defects. The outcome of the election turns on all these outstanding votes. But Trump, on the basis of the results so far, declares victory and dismisses the remaining mail-in ballots as fraudulent and illegitimate. The Republican-controlled legislatures of all three states agree, assigning their electoral votes to the president. Trump has secured a second term in the White House.
This scenario is not paranoid or outlandish. It is now chillingly plausible. Trump has spent several months laying the groundwork to steal the 2020 election this way….
All these complications work to Trump’s advantage, which is presumably why Republican legislators refuse to address them. Thanks in no small part to Trump’s endless demonization of mail-in ballots, there is a sharp partisan split on the issue: Far more Democrats than Republicans plan to vote by mail in November. So a majority of rejected absentee ballots will probably contain votes for Democrats, including Joe Biden. Moreover, these ballots are frequently counted after the in-person vote; in Michigan, officials cannot even open them until Election Day. (Republican legislators have rebuffed Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s pleas to change this pointless law.) If the in-person vote is disproportionately Republican, then Election Day returns could show Trump ahead in the key swing states. At that point, he can declare victory and proclaim the uncounted ballots are fraudulent. He has previewed this tactic for months now and openly cast doubt on the legitimacy of mailed ballots.
If I lived in a swing state, I would try to vote in person, despite the possible health risks. That is worth the risk (and the Wisconsin experience suggests there might be a risk). It’s voting, not bar hopping*; this is when you take the risk.
The only constant throughout the Trump administration era is that one should never underestimate its malevolence. If they are not stopped directly, they will stop, since they have no internal workings that tell them something is immoral.
We need a plan to halt this, and, much to the chagrin of the professional Democratic class (because they can neither control nor profit from it), it will likely involve street action.
*If Trump somehow wins D.C., then we know the whole thing is rigged.